What an intense week. I cannot write anything else before expressing how heartbroken I was to learn that brilliant actor Alan Rickman and musical icon David Bowie died–both Londoners, both at age 69 of cancer.

Bowie was an artistic visionary and sonic adventurer who cut an endlessly original and challenging swathe through the musical landscape. We find him everywhere from rock, pop, folk, electronic, punk, funk, soul, R & B, to rap and even jazz. He was Indie. Decades ago, he was openly cruising the cusp of gender and personae from Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke to The Man Who Fell To Earth. We’re so glad he did. Daring and deeply curious, he is leaving behind a body of work which remains revolutionary and mysterious. Fearless and discreet he faced the ultimate while turning out his last album “Blackstar.”  As Bowie once said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” As ground control said to Major Tom, “May God’s love be with you.”

We may have first fallen for Alan Rickman’s eerily mellifluous voice as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. But he was a giant onstage long before that, a total original, utterly in command, distinctive but versatile, and extraordinarily magnetic. Whether villain or hero, he suggested untold depths of complexity with the mere lift of an eyebrow or shift of inflection. Just go back and relish his evil genius in 1988’s “Die Hard,” his tender courtliness in “Sense and Sensibility,” his rueful humor in “Love Actually,” and any appearance on THE TONIGHT SHOW with Jimmy Fallon for his sheer sense of play and lack of pretension. We love him Truly, Madly, Deeply.

oscar_best_pictureNow click on the link for all the  Oscars nominations 2016. I’m thrilled that my number one movie of the year THE REVENANT (see my TOP FIVE) leads the pack with 12 nominations including a Best Actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio who MUST win this year or I will never watch again. Maybe. No big surprises in most categories but some definite snubs:

–Where is RIDLEY SCOTT’s nomination for best director? The man behind BLADE RUNNER and GLADIATOR, this year orchestrated the wonderful THE MARTIAN starring Matt Damon, also wonderful and nominated for Best Actor

–Where is Johnny Depp in the Best Actor category for his performance as Whitey Bulger in the otherwise disappointing BLACK MASS? I might have left out Michael Fassbender’s Steve Jobs.

–Where is Charlize Theron for Best Supporting Actress in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD? I would have left out either Rachel McAdams’s just OK performance in SPOTLIGHT, and definitely Kate Winslet’s downright clumsy effort in STEVE JOBS. (What was with that wandering eastern european accent?)

–Where is the diversity? No Will Smith for CONCUSSION. No Michael B. Jordan for CREED, though (Though I’m psyched about Sylvester Stallone’s Best Supporting Actor nod). No noms for STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’s young ensemble cast.

Can’t wait to hear what this year’s OSCAR host Chris Rock has to say about that. Stay tuned: Sunday February 28th for the 88th Academy Awards!